We’re feeling all grown up here at Out-Smarts – like we’ve come of age or something. After almost nine years in business we’ve made the leap from the virtual office to a bricks and mortar premises and it feels good (I knew that it would). It’s a big milestone for us and we are just settling in – adapting to life in the office is going to be fun.
When Out-Smarts (Outsmart Sales and Marketing Co. as it was called then) was founded in 2002, I had the idea that it would be neat to be location independent and be able to work from anywhere. For the last 9 years I’ve worked from coffee shops, beaches, parks, arenas – you name it. As we grew; Corrie, PJ, Jan, Sam, Prianka and Jose all work(ed) from their virtual locations, aka from home, and it worked really well for us.
So why did we finally cave in to the more ‘normal’ work set up, and have we taken a step back in time, or what? We haven’t, we still have home offices and spend time meeting in coffee houses and being virtual, but there comes a time with a growing team that it becomes more productive to be sitting close to your colleagues. As well as to have a boardroom to bring clients, and a place to train.
When our friend and mentor over at Raspberry Kids, Sue Sinclair, mentioned that we should check out the space Xomo (her husband’s company) were subleasing, we were initially wary. However, when we came to see the office and found that not only does it have a Skype screen in the boardroom, but also a touch screen too (not to mention Indian food on Thursdays and beer Fridays) we were sold on the spot.
We moved in last week, sharing the space with the lovely Leigh Striegler, our design partner from Olive Design. Our office has wall to wall windows, a view of the mountains and, even better, Granville Island is just steps away (so we will never go hungry). We’re still moving our furniture and equipment in (and around) and settling in – we have no art on the walls, yet.
Some things change and some remain the same. Out-Smarts is still a progressive organisation (lifestyle means a lot to us!). As long as the work gets done and our clients are uber happy, it doesn’t really matter when or where we are, but it’s extra nice to go into the office and find that your colleague has baked a cake to celebrate (not so easy when you’re virtual). Did I mention that Corrie is a cake master?
Our new office is located at #202 – 1650 West First Avenue. You should pop by for a visit.